“Fake news” is a term that has been thrown around recently, but what about fake reviews?
While it may be tempting to boost your law firm’s online presence (and by extension, your caseload) by creating your own fake reviews and posting them under fictional accounts. Doing this not only violates the guidelines Google holds, but this practice is also against the law.
Even though posting fake reviews violates Google’s guidelines, Google doesn’t always find and penalize violators. Rather, typically penalization only usually happens when someone reports the violator.
So what’s the downside?
Risks for posting fake client reviews
Harming your online reputation is one of the most obvious risks of posting fake reviews for your law firm website. Given that most people use mobile devices to search for services today, a favorable online presence ensures continued clients.
Once clients learn that a law firm is caught using fake reviews, chances are your firm will find itself on the bad side of negative reviews across social media. Given that Google doesn’t often penalize, unfavorable or 1-star reviews can be even more harmful to your firm.
Legal repercussions are another risk of posting fake reviews. Although Google doesn’t always take action against violators, that doesn’t mean that a company (even a law firm) couldn’t face legal action.